Spicy Chicken, Pancetta and Gnocchi Bake

Frank Bordoni dresses-up gnocchi with chilli-speckled chicken and pancetta, cloaked in a creamy cheese sauce
By Frank Bordoni
Spicy Chicken, Pancetta and Gnocchi Bake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 4 x 150 g chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 150 g pancetta, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • salt and black pepper

To make the gnocchi

  • 1 kg Desirée potatoes
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 100 g semolina
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • pinches nutmeg
  • salt and black pepper

For the sauce

  • 250 ml double cream
  • 120 g fontina cheese
  • 100 g unsalted butter


1. Place the chicken in a large bowl, sprinkle with the chilli and season well. Transfer to a hot large sauté pan and cook until golden - about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the pancetta, onion and garlic and continue frying for a few minutes, until crisp. Set aside.

2. Boil the potatoes in their skins until tender. Drain and peel before mashing. Stir in the flour, semolina and eggs, along with the nutmeg and seasoning. By now you should have a soft, but not sticky dough. Leave on one side to cool.

3. Roll the dough into 'ropes', about 2cm in diameter and cut into pieces, each 2-3cm in length. Make indentations with the prongs of a fork.

4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the gnocchi. Simmer until they rise to the surface - 3-4 minutes. You'll probably find it easier to cook the gnocchi in batches. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

5. Tip the chicken and pancetta mixture, along with the gnocchi, into a large buttered oven dish. Drizzle over the cream and dot with butter and fontina cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Serve straight away.

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